French in Normandy is proud to be a leader in preparing students for the DELF and DALF French exams.
What exactly are the DELF and DALF exams, you ask? DELF and DALF are diplomas awarded by the French Ministry of Education to certify the level of French-language skills of non-French speakers. These diplomas are valid for life and recognised all around the world. To obtain them, you must take the DELF and DALF examinations, which assess your communication skills in real situations using authentic documents.
Students from around the world trust French in Normandy to help them achieve their French language learning goals. French in Normandy is accredited by several top international organizations including the International Association of Language Centres, International House and Qualité FLE ensuring the highest quality courses, teachers and services.
Your success is our success and we are pleased to share with you our 2019 pass rates for the DELF and DALF exams. These numbers are a reflection of the hard work of both our students and teachers as well as the quality of education that French in Normandy provides.
Do you have questions about the DELF and DALF exam preparation programs at French in Normandy? Feel free to contact us or read more about DELF and DALF exam preparation on our website.
How to teach a foreign language effectively: 4 essential tips
What’s your preferred teaching method when it comes to languages? What can you do to make lessons more engaging and productive for your students?
Let’s face it, being a language teacher is highly rewarding. Not only do you get to travel and further your passion for a language and its culture, but as a language teacher, you can also give these special gifts to your students.
You might say that being any kind of teacher has similar benefits. However, there’s something especially remarkable about imparting language. In doing so, you open up perspectives and broaden horizons so your students can travel the world, explore different cultures and open dialogues with people from completely different backgrounds. For your students, it can turn into a lifelong passion, a career, or a relationship.
So what are the fundamental pillars of language teaching? How can you improve your teaching so your students develop their language skills better?
Read on for our essential tips for effective language teaching.
Tip 1. Learn about different approaches, methodologies and techniques
Do you tend to teach French by focusing on grammar and vocabulary acquisition? Do you place an emphasis on spoken communication? Or do you provide task-based learning exercises?
One size doesn’t fit all and over the years our understanding of language education has evolved. Being a teacher is a continual learning journey – there are always new things to discover and put into practice in classroom situations.
For instance, here at the French in Normandy school, we offer courses that cover different methods. Some of the most popular ones include:
Approche neurolinguistique (ANL) – The Neurolinguistic Approach
The Neurolinguistic Approach has been developed based on an understanding of the parts of the brain associated with language acquisition. You can read more about it here.
You can see what this teacher had to say about it:
Technologies de l’information et de la communication à l’école (TICE) – Using new technology in the classroom
This method incorporates the use of new technology in teaching. The classrooms here at French in Normandy are almost completely paper-free these days, and teachers can learn how to introduce different kinds of technology into their lessons effectively with this course.
Discipline Non Linguistique (DNL) – Non-linguistic discipline
As well as providing exposure to the language, teaching another specialist subject through language provides a specific focus for language learning that can be very effective.
Tip 2: Go beyond textbooks and embrace modern media
Almost anyone learning a language today spends a significant amount of their time looking at screens – especially the screens of their smartphones – and using apps. Making use of this and other new technology to aid language teaching means your students can use media they’re familiar with and increase their immersion in the language in different contexts.
This can take many forms. It could mean posting, sharing and encouraging conversations in the language on social media platforms, or using their favourite boxsets as the basis of an exercise. It could also mean using tools like quiz and competition apps to ‘gamify’ learning and further motivate your students.
Tip 3: Find a variety of ways for students to immerse themselves in the language
We can all agree that immersion in the target language is essential for language learning. However, this doesn’t have to mean a conversation with a native speaker. While opportunities to have those conversations should be available to students on as regular a basis as possible, why not encourage your students to immerse themselves in other ways that match their interests?
While literature can work for some, others prefer music and listening to lyrics, others films and boxsets, and others may prefer to learn vocabulary while cooking. Help your students use their hobbies to maximise their exposure to the language outside the classroom.
Tip 4: Create a safe and positive learning environment
Having the confidence to make mistakes – and the opportunity to discuss and learn from them – is absolutely key to language learning.
How you structure your lessons and how you provide feedback has an enormous impact on your students’ sense of security, and whatever your preferred methods are, if your students are to improve, they need a space that’s free from judgment and safe enough to make any mistakes, knowing they’ll be seen only as an opportunity to improve.
Explore our resources and improve your language teaching
We all remember good teachers of any subjects, but language teachers are perhaps on another level. Through language learning, you gain the satisfaction of mastering grammar and the ability to recall the
right word or phrase for a given situation. But you also open the door to new culture – through film, literature, etc. – and new relationships too.
The buzz and increased confidence you feel when you can speak a language fluently with a native
speaker is hard to beat. Whether it’s the teachers who help you unleash the joy of uncoding and discovering books by great authors in their original language or the ones who help you make sense of
using the subjunctive, the language teachers who really help you stay with you for life.
While every teacher brings something of themselves and their own experience to teaching, these tips can hopefully help you provide an even higher quality learning experience for your students.
If you’d like to explore the subject in more detail and read other articles on teaching foreign languages, you can browse all our related articles.
Our French teacher training courses are designed for teachers from around the world as well as for teachers in Europe who wish to take part in either a French language programme or a methodology programme via the Erasmus grant.
In addition to the different methodologies, all our courses help teachers develop skills and confidence in a number of essential areas, including how to motivate students and keep their attention, how to establish a class dynamic and make the most of interactions in the classroom, and how to respond to specific learning needs within groups.
If you’re looking to develop your teaching skills and would like to find out more about the teacher training courses on offer here in Rouen, Normandy, you can get more information here.
Having the right diplomas help international students access international schools or French universities. DELF certification is great for students who plan to apply to a higher education institute.
The DELF certificate from the French Ministry of Education is an internationally-recognised qualification verifying the level of French you have achieved, which never expires.
Mastering French can be tough, but it’s so worthwhile. At French in Normandy, we’ve got lots of experience in supporting students to get their DELF certificates: read on for our eight effective preparation techniques. Remember, it’s important to take the DELF certificate at the right level.
How many DELF French levels are there?
Le Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française (DELF) certifies French skills in foreign applicants from non-French speaking nations.
DELF is made up of 4 diplomas that are independent of each other. This means you can take level B1 without taking either level A1 or A2. Level A1/A2 certify basic French skills while B1/B2 certify intermediate French skills. Each of the DELF French levels evaluates four language skills.
DELF A1: At this first and most basic of the DELF French levels, a student should be able to engage in simple interactions. For instance, introducing themselves and asking and answering personal questions.
DELF A2: At this level, the student should be able to do everything in A1 and also carry out simple everyday tasks.
DELF B1: At this intermediate level, the student is an independent user able to manage familiar situations including at work, in school and for leisure. You are expected to understand all situations as you travel in a French-speaking nation. Your skills allow you to describe events, experiences, dreams, ambitions and hopes and briefly give explanations.
DELF B2: When a person from a non-French speaking nation attains this level of mastery, he or she has a high level of independence. At this level, you can understand the ideas in a complex text on abstract concrete topics, such as a technical discussion in different fields of specialization. This level of French fluency enables you to talk with native speakers better and freely, explaining your opinion on current issues. A level B2 DELF certificate is great if you want to study at a French university.
There are also DALF exams for students who need certification in French at a more advanced level, and we can also prepare you for these at French in Normandy.
At French in Normandy, we recommend you follow an exam preparation course instead of attempting to study for exams on your own, regardless of your French level or the exam you want to take. We can help you identify which of the DELF French levels you should take, too.
8 Effective Preparation Techniques for the DELF exam
Want to get DELF certification? Here are our top DELF certificate preparation techniques.
- Join a French language course
The DELF certificate is one of the two most important French qualifications for an international student who plans to attend a French university (find out about the other one here).
To fully prepare for the DELF certificate, you need to join a French course in a French language school. This will improve your skills and knowledge greatly as you prepare for the test. The teacher will assist you as you learn new important points of grammar.
Exam practice is the best way to prepare for the DELF certification test – but the type of practice needs to be right. Revising old exam questions constantly is not enough. Online tests can help you practice your French skills.
It’s important that after taking each practice exam, you take time to analyse your wrong answers and think of how you can eliminate errors in a future exam.
This technique is exciting and beneficial as you prepare for your DELF certificate exam. The technique includes 5 easy steps.
- Translate any French audio or text into your first language
- Check it carefully and wait for a day or so
- Then rewrite the audio or text into French using your own phrases and words
- Now translate the text you wrote into French using a tool or ask a French teacher to review it
- Compare your text to the original text
This technique allows you to remember the phrases and words more effectively for future writing and speaking tasks. Also, it allows you to determine your choice of words.
- Train your ears
Train your ears to recognise fast speech to properly prepare yourself for the advanced French tests you’ll need for your DELF certification. Students often can’t understand French words, especially when a person speaks fast. So, you should train your ears to identify phrases and words in fast speech. This technique requires you to listen to a speech or radio excerpt and then write what you hear. Next, compare your text against the transcript. The technique is useful for training your ears for quick French audio, video, questions and speech.
- Improve pronunciation
Having the right pronunciation is important when you are trying to pass your DELF certificate. The right pronunciation helps your examiner understand you easily and can influence the opinion of your examiner on your level of French verbal skills. So, practice pronunciation of tricky phrases and words using an online audio dictionary. First, listen and then try to pronounce the same way. For accurate pronunciation, you will need to pronounce the words multiple times.
It is helpful if you can come up with a list of words that are difficult for you and practice them regularly to improve your pronunciation. Record yourself saying the same words and phrases over and over and listen back to analyse your own pronunciation.
- Focus on grammar too
Like any other language, the best way to remember French grammar is to use it. Taking our course exposes you to concepts that help you grasp French grammar in a variety of situations. If you are studying alone and having trouble identifying your grammar mistakes, you have the option of requesting help from an online tutor. It’s also good to join a French grammar course or language exchange group with native French speakers. Look out for French grammar exercises online – there are lots of them.
This is one of the most important techniques. Repetition is proven to be a successful way of learning a language and studying a subject and is essential for your DELF certification. At French in Normandy we ensure you get the right amount of repetition to improve your French and help you learn more quickly.
This is important if you are to significantly improve your French skills: it will take you longer to become proficient if you are studying French in a non-French speaking country.
Studying in a French-speaking country, however, means you will chat with friends and your host family, read the news and watch movies in French. All this makes it easier to attain B1 French level proficiency, faster.
If you are not in a French-speaking country, you could look for the nearest community college or public library to sign up for events that expose you to the French language and immerse you in the local French-speaking community.
Practise, practise, practise!
To master the French skills you need for your DELF certification, you need to use effective preparation techniques alongside a DELF exam preparation course. These study techniques will help you learn French through practise, which is the best way to master French.
At French in Normandy, we really want to help you succeed and our DELF preparation course will help you improve your French oral, grammar and writing skills. With us, the time you invest in improving your French skills will pay off and we can help you reach your goals, no matter which French exam or level you want to achieve.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to study at French in Normandy, and help you succeed in getting the DELF certification you need to follow your dreams, whether of further study or work in France, or just getting to a higher level in the language.
Getting a DELF French diploma can open the door to your ambitions. Many students need the DELF or DALF French diploma to get into university, perhaps in France or Switzerland, or to begin a career in the civil service.
People who want to become professional bakers have found the DALF and DELF preparation course are very useful for taking the entrance exam to get a place at the INBP – the National Institute of Bakery and Pastry.
And many students just want the qualification to show the level of French they’ve worked hard to achieve.
Students of all nationalities want to take DALF preparation in France: at French in Normandy, we’ve taught people from many countries including Switzerland, Korea, and Latin America.
If you want to pass French DELF A1, preparation is vital. As a beginners’ level qualification, A1 could be many students’ first experience of a DELF or DALF test.
At French in Normandy, our language school in Rouen, we have lots of experience in supporting students in French DELF A1 preparation as well as other levels in the DELF and DALF tests. Not only can you learn with us at our school, but we can support you in the DELF or DALF online.
What is the DELF French Diploma? And what are DALF French levels?
The DELF and DALF Diplomas match the six levels of the Council of Europe’ s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) from A1-C2. They are organised by the French Ministry of Education to certify the level of French-language skills of non-French speakers.
- The DELF French Diploma (Diplôme d’études en langue française) is at levels A1-B2 of the Common European Framework, with an exam for each level. A1 and A2 are examined on Wednesdays and B1 and B2 on Thursdays.
- The DALF French Diploma (Diplôme approfondi en langue française) is at C1and C2 levels of the Common European Framework, and is examined on Fridays.
French DELF A1 preparation: What to expect?
Like most language exams, DALF and DELF French diplomas will test you on the four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
- What’s in the French DELF A1 reading test? You’ll get four or five short texts about everyday situations and you’ll be asked to answer questions to check how well you’ve understood what you’ve read. It’s a good idea to read the texts once before looking at the questions. Make sure you understand exactly what the questions are asking before reading the texts again.
- How to prepare for the DELF A1 reading test The most useful thing you can do is read often. If you can find texts in French which are also translated into your own language, read the French and then check for meaning. Children’s books can be good, and so can websites. Try to be familiar with as many words as possible (and if you don’t understand any in the exam, try to work out what they mean from the rest of the text).
- What’s in the French DELF A1 writing test? You’ll be asked to complete a form and write something short – like a postcard or email – about something people do in daily life. Be careful: make sure you write what you’ve been asked to write, and read it through carefully when you’ve done.
- How to prepare for the DELF A1 writing test? Practise writing about things you do every day. Also the more you write out the same phrases again and again, the more you start to commit this to memory. Not only will you write more quickly, but you’ll also add it to the list of things you can say fluently without thinking about it.
- What’s in the French DELF A1 listening test? You will hear three or four short recordings about everyday situations twice, then answer questions on what you’ve heard. Remember, you hear each recording twice. The first time, try to get the general idea of what you are hearing and on the second listening, be more aware of the details. This part of the test is checking for how well you’ve understood what you’ve heard and you don’t have to write in perfect French.
- How can I prepare for the DELF A1 listening test? By listening to things! The radio is good, as is the TV, films and talking to people. The more you listen, the more you’ll hear the words and improve your understanding. Tell yourself that you won’t understand everything, and learn to relax about this. However by picking out just a few words from the TV, you’re tuning your brain in to the French language. Practice tests will also help you become more familiar with language at the DELF A1 level of French.
- What’s in the French DELF A1 speaking test? There are three parts of this test: guided conversation, exchanging information and role-play. In the first two parts be very careful to listen to what the examiner asks and make sure that’s what you answer. Remember you get ten minutes to prepare for the role play with the images you’ve been given so spend that time thinking about what you can say.
- How can I prepare for the DELF A1 speaking test? Speaking is vital: our school will help you. Our online course will check and correct your speaking exercises, and students in school will get plenty of practice talking inside and outside of class. When you’re revising vocabulary and phrases, remember to speak them out loud and not just in your head, so you give your mouth a chance to work on pronunciation too!
How can French in Normandy help you with French DELF A1 preparation?
We are very proud of our exam success rates: in 2017, 97 per cent of our students passed their exams. We can offer both DELF and DALF preparation courses at our school in beautiful Rouen, just an hour outside Paris, or online (although you will have to take the exam in France, and this option is only available for students at B2 and above).
Students on our DELF DALF preparation courses in France take General French in the morning as well as exam-specific sessions. Morning classes focus on the four skills, with exam tutorials in the afternoons. You’ll also get practice sessions with personalised correction and feedback.
Some of our teachers are qualified, experienced DELF DALF examiners which help students to be confident and well prepared for their exam. Students can also attend free daily workshops after afternoon classes.
Book your French DELF A1 preparation, or your DALF preparation course
We’re looking forward to meeting you at French in Normandy and helping you to get the qualifications you need with our DELF and DALF preparation in France. Find out more about our courses and book here.
French in Normandy is proud to have been chosen by Campus France as one of the participating schools in this new and exciting French and Science short course programme for students planning to study science in France.
French in Normandy provides full French language instruction while partner school ESIGELEC takes the lead role in the science elements of the programme along with CESI NORMANDIE and local companies. Together these three excellent Normandy institutions will receive students from around the world for this new three-week programme that offers first-class language training as well as a hands-on scientific experience for students planning to study science in France. Students will visit companies specialised in motor research, transport and energy solutions.
French + Sciences is designed for international English-speaking students in Sciences, who may be complete beginners in French: the scientific content is 100% taught in English.
Improve your French speaking skills in 10 steps
Are you looking to learn French but are afraid of not being able to become fluent in it? This article reveals the top 10 effective ideas to improve your French speaking skills.
Developing your French speaking skills
Primarily, it is vital to enroll yourself in a French language school with proficient language teachers and a wide range of French language courses. Also being versed with the language is much easier than speaking French fluently which involves lots of learning work, reading, talking, and practicing in French.
Have a look at some of the finest methods to improve your French speaking skills, practice and implement the following tips to speak French fluently.
1. Don’t Study French in a stretch
Continuing French study for a long span can initially give you severe headaches. Read it for a short span with a refreshing break in between study sessions so that you grasp what you study and indulge in quality studying.
2. Lock yourself in the room and talk to yourself in French in front of a mirror
Your elders might have suggested you before too but it seriously works. Chat with yourself in front of the mirror; if possible enact a role play be it a teacher-student, cook, a French actor delivering a speech, etc. It facilitates an improvement in giving a response in French in distinct situations. This will also remove hesitation as well in overcoming pauses that usually strike while trying to speak a new language.
3. Go on to listen to French audio anytime and anywhere
Stuff that we hear again and again gets easily stored in our memory box. Try to listen to French audio as much as possible to be able to speak fluently. This may result in a dual benefit of improving listening skills along with getting versed with the language. The finest ways to get the hold of French is to practice the process of hearing, understanding, and finally speaking. Try to memorize what you heard while watching a French movie or a TV show like news or you can make a keyword list which you can go through frequently.
4. Switch on your TV to watch French game shows
Every one of us loves watching game shows and mostly knows what next anchors are going to utter, and in this way, you can learn French quite easily.
5. Repeat or revise as much as possible
Repetition and revision is the key to learning a language. Just go on to repeat so that you don’t forget it easily.
6. Read French out loud
This could be a little problematic, but reading French loud will work for sure. Reading is the best mode to deal with the complexity involved in the language of France. This would help the reader in the composition of sentences and French dialogue.
7. Converse with your classmates in French
This will work cent percent as while conversing with your friend, you will get to hear some new and old words that will be an aid in speaking as well as memorizing.
8. Don’t translate
It is quite obvious that initially while learning, you may translate a bit of French to English, but try to avoid it as much as possible. It is quite possible that you can understand the context of a phrase or sentence or even paragraph even though you might not know the direct meaning/translation of every word. Try not to translate!
9. Don’t adopt a new studying style
Stick to your old and effective style of studying that has delivered your results earlier. If you get to learn easily while reading aloud or by practicing in writing, simply practice it to learn and speak French quickly.
10. Be serious in your French class
Don’t just laugh at it. By being serious in your language class and following the instructions of your teacher, you can learn French easily. Have a deep study of your French course as it is similar to learning French in France.
If you really want to improve your French, consider a full-on immersion experience with us, French in Normandy, an international award-winning French language school in the heart of Normandy.
Knowledge of a language with good command in speaking doesn’t make you a good language teacher. Do you think, mere knowledge and teacher training are enough to switch on to the language teaching profession? There are plenty of characteristics that a teacher must possess to be a good language teacher; along with proficiency in a language, extraordinary reading, speaking and listening skills the teacher must, of course, demonstrate good use of vocabulary and command over the words.
Do you want to know what are the characteristics of a good teacher? If yes, then go on to confirm the following traits along with checking his or her expertise in French.
French language teaching
Learning the language of France is just like learning any other new language but a bit earlier acquaintance through movies, multimedia aids, video tutorials, semi-easy reads can be highly advantageous for students in addition to having a good French teacher with the knowledge of the language.
Important characteristics of a good teacher
Let us check out the good characteristics of a teacher that can make him/her stay in the memory of students for a longer and longer span. This guide is not only for students but also for teachers who aspire to become a good language teacher.
Personalize the Learning Environment
Check out whether the teacher can offer personalized teaching to every class depending upon the specific needs of the class. You cannot teach students of a distinct age with the same teaching style and matter. The best method of teaching students under age 6 plays way method however; the need of students beyond 6 years is different. Therefore, the teacher must be able to connect with the student and execute personalized as well as customized teaching. A teacher able to establish emotional as well as mental connect with the students is best to go for.
Learning a language may not be as tough as learning mathematics, but it is also not easy. Most of the students often leave the courses in midterm due to the complexity involved in the language. But a hopeful and encouraging teacher can promote students to learn French and attain proficiency.
Passionate teacher potent in generating passion in students
A teacher needs to be passionate about the language along with being able to infuse passion in the students as well. Passion eradicates boredom and irritation which is very common while studying a new language. A spark of interest generates passion and thereby enlists the teacher amongst the good teachers.
A teacher capable of establishing a connection with the students and between the subject and student easily gets her name in the list of good language teachers. Creating friendliness for the subject amongst students through teaching aids like stories, videos, pictures, snaps, etc. is important for learning.
Encourages students to chime in
The participation of students leads to effective or successful learning. Teachers executing distinct means to involve student’s participation are more likely to get the tang of success. Actively involved students learn more easily than those who abstain from participating.
A good teacher allows the student to face the blame and be accountable for any carelessness and lack of devotion towards the study of language.
Stays attuned with the student’s development
Language learning classes are different in every learning phase. A good language teacher should be able to understand the different development phases and teach students with a fine idea of bespoke teaching best for the mental caliber of distinct students.
French in Normandy team consists of some of the best French language teachers, all who embody the characteristics of a good teacher, who can help you to achieve your language learning goals! Contact us for details about our teachers and French language courses.
French is considered as a tough language to learn as well as pronounce. But it cannot be as hard as it seems to learn if you acquaint your child with the following things at preschool or at their early level of education. As French is a global language, spoken in at least 29 countries and used by international organizations as an official language, learning French is important.
Before you enroll your child in a French-language school, provide him or her the basic knowledge that can make the French learning process easier. Have a look at the overview of the things that, if learned at an early stage, can aid the student to converse in French easily in the future. But before that, let us know why learning French is important?
Learning skills: Why Learning French is important
Gradually like English, French has become an international language and to compete in today’s world or in the coming years, it is vital to be an expert in French. After English, it is at the second spot amongst the list of languages taught worldwide along with being 6th language of the world spoken across the globe. Various schools offer French classes and courses in France but French in Normandy is voted as the best French language school in France and offers courses for juniors, adults and seniors.
5 things to teach your child when learning French as a second language
Numbers and genders game
If you are planning to teach your child French at any stage after preschool, then make sure to verse him with the genders and numbers. In French, the pronouns and adjectives have to be in agreement, whereas similar is the case of the verb which is also supposed to agree. Make the child aware of grammar through various books through singing or poem recitation, etc. to prepare his foundation for French.
Education of affirmative, negative, and interrogative statements
Learning French would be an easy job for your child by making him versed with the French translation of words like what, where, when, why, who, and how which are referred as “quoi” , “où” , “qui” , “quand” , “Pourquoi” , “comment” in French respectively. This would help your child to learn the basics of French easily as with such words sentence formation becomes easy, which would be of immense assistance for students. A habit of noting down a word while reading a chapter is of immense help in learning, which could be a great aid in French too as it aids in increasing the vocabulary of French.
Acquaint your child about the changing form of verbs in French which varies from person to person, mood and tense, unlike English. These learned at a later stage in higher classes are hard to practice as students often forget them. Make such word practice in the daily life of your preschool toddler so that he can remember it for long. Make your toddler hear it while you read to keep it stored in his memory to enable him to learn French with great ease. Again, repeating these words, again and again, can help students to learn easily.
Conditional and subjunctive
Perhaps you do not know about the verb forms or moods mentioned in French, but do you know that English too stores a similar pattern? The conditional sentences constitute ‘If’ in English whereas it is called “si” in French. Subjective is practiced at the time of uncertainty. Gradually make your child use subjunctives to make the French language, not a tough one to learn. Class discussion can act as a key to learning these.
French is difficult to pronounce and understand initially. It is different from Swedish, English, etc. It is spoken in a monotonous range. While pronouncing French, the nasal sounds that seem to have a similar sound actually do not have. A beginner or a preschooler needs to be versed in the fact that sounds appear to melt together from the previous syllable of a word to the beginning of next words syllable. Here animal sound, enacting of screenplay or voice modulation can be highly effective in preparing them to learn French in the future.
These are minor but very handy things that may assist in learning the language effortlessly.